Lenovo plans ‘more energetic’ marketing as it makes smartphone push

Lenovo is planning to inject greater energy and vibrancy into its marketing as it looks to appeal to millennials and establish itself as a strong mobile brand.


The company is exhibiting upgrades of its Vibe smartphone line at Mobile World Congress (MWC) this week. Speaking to Marketing Week at the event in Barcelona, CMO David Roman said Lenovo is also keen to build relationships with other mobile industry players and showcase its new “digital-first” branding.

China-based Lenovo is traditionally known as the world’s largest PC maker and a provider of IT technology. However its rebrand last year, which included a new logo that is adaptable to different colours and graphics, signalled its intent to become more synonymous with mobile technology. Lenovo was the fourth largest smartphone vendor in Q3 2015, accounting for 5.3% of the global market, according to research group IDC.

“Lenovo is a relatively young company that has a lot of positive energy within it, and we felt that we had not been successful at conveying that,” said Roman. “People thought of Lenovo as being much more staid and conservative – so one phrase that we are using now internally is ‘never stand still’.

“We see that as a reflection of the youth market, which feels that urgency – the world is changing quickly and we have to do things quickly too.”

He said the company was particularly focused on digital marketing and social media and that the new “lighter tone” to its marketing would also transfer to its B2B communications. “Millennials are in the workplace too, and their attitudes towards brands and how they work don’t change,” he added.

Lenovo is continuing to integrate Motorola, the phone maker it acquired in 2014, into its wider business. In January Lenovo announced it would no longer launch products under the historic Motorola name, but it has retained Moto and its ‘bat wings’ logo as a premium product brand. New Moto devices are due to launch later this year under the overarching Lenovo brand.

“The difference between Lenovo Moto and Lenovo Vibe is that Moto tends to be doing the really cool new designs and features,” said Roman. “Here [at MWC] we’re showing the Moto X Force, which has a shatterproof screen. That took a three-year project to achieve. It’s that level of differentiation that’s key to our winning strategy long-term.”

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